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Found abandoned on the quayside, the young waif is taken in by the Jacksons whose own daughter was lost in a tragic accident. They never know her true identity. Emily grows up in the gatekeeper's lodge on Nathaniel Franklin's estate until Franklin's cousin, the evil would-be heir, conspires to discredit her family and turns them out. Determined to help save her family from destitution, Emily takes up the offer of service recommended by Franklin's cousin. Only to find his accomplice is hell-bent on seducing her. Emily finds work where she can, but her ambition is to run a fleet of ships. An impossible dream according to handsome Captain David Walsh - at least for a girl. Battling through heartbreak and terrifying threats, Emily determines to succeed in a man's world and to make her dreams come true.
Orphaned at a young age, Rachel is left penniless and alone in the streets of turn-of-the-century Newcastle. In the depths of despair she is delighted to learn that her eccentric Uncle Joshua has left her his house in Sunderland. But it comes with a strict proviso: she must marry her sworn enemy Martin. Otherwise, her dangerous cousin Saul Gorman will inherit the lot. And Saul will stop at nothing to claim inheritance...
Sunderland-born Chrissie has worked her way up from the back streets with unstinting determination to give her children the opportunities her never had. But in the summer of 1923 her husband's shipyard is staring ruin in the face: Chrissie vows to hold her family together, come what maY, for the sake of her children. Sophie, cocksure and flirtatious, is determined to become a singer like her amoral grandmother. Matt, a dreaming loner, intelligent, artistic, is devoid of ambition. Tom, the eldest, adopted at birth, is destined to inherit the shipyard but so becomes the target of a scheming woman. Then there is Sarah, who comes from the poor streets down by the river and in whom Chrissie sees more of herself than her own daughter. And finally Peter, the young street-fighter living on the earnings from his bare fists. But in spite of Chrissie's determination, the winds of war will tear the family and their loved ones apart, and threaten to destroy everything Chrissie holds dear. 'Colourful . . . authentic . . . in the bestselling tradition of Catherine Cookson.' Middlesbrough Evening Gazette
Alison Grant is just five when her father is sent to prison for murder. Her mother blackens his character and when she's taunted at school for being a jailbird's daughter she feels ashamed of him. Then Doreen Grant abandons Alison and the little girl goes to live with her grandmother, the housekeeper at Bellhanger House. And when she becomes friends with the owner's nephew, she tells him her mother is dead and her father is a ship's captain. It is the beginning of a new life of betrayal and deception, which continues when Alison leaves Bellhanger House after her grandmother's death. She begins to dream of owning a chain of cafes and becoming a lady. But her family's shaming secret will come back to haunt her once more. 'A serious challenge for the crown vacated by Catherine Cookson.' Sunderland Echo
The harsh urban life of 1900s Sunderland is no place for beautiful, innocent Laura, whose determined spirit brings nothing but trouble. In love with wealthy Ralph, she flees to London, rejected by his family and threatened by her cruel stepfather. But there she finds only heartache and treachery. Amidst the hardship and brutality of World War I she is forced to think twice about everything she holds dear, and when the bloodshed finally ceases she faces another struggle-- with her past. The fancy woman must return to the scornful streets of her birthplace. Unbeknownst to her, it may offer love in the last place she'd ever imagine looking.
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